A DEVASTATED art gallery owner is urging people in the area to keep their eyes peeled after his private gallery was raided last week.

Around £10,000 worth of paintings and ceramic figures were stolen from Le Corre Art Gallery in Pound Lane, Bradford on Avon, between Friday, February 3 and Monday, February 6.

Police have launched an investigation to reclaim the paintings stolen from the small gallery, owned by Andre Le Corre and located directly opposite the Tithe Barn.

Mr Le Corre said: “It was a very clever job as nothing was disturbed; whoever did it clearly knew exactly what they were doing.

“They left pictures worth far more than the ones they took and took pictures mainly from Bath artist Simon Hodges, so it seems to me that they knew what they were after.”

The pictures taken, which vanished some time between February 3-6, were framed in Mr Le Corre’s handmade wooden frames, which are chequered black and white and “very distinctive”, according to the 75-year-old.

“When I arrived at the gallery on Tuesday afternoon it was absolutely terrible; I was gutted,” added Mr Le Corre.

“Simon is such a talented artist and I’ve seen his career flourish since first welcoming his work to my gallery around 10 years ago.

“It’s such a shame that his hard work, as well as mine, has been stolen.

“I’m urging people to look out for the stolen items. The frames in particular should stand out so please let me know if you see them about.”

The paintings were done in oil and depict street scenes from Bradford on Avon and Bath.

Mr Le Corre, who lives on the Royal Crescent in Bath, started the gallery around 30 years ago after leaving his job of 20 years as an engineer.

A Wiltshire Police spokesman said: “An investigation is currently under way into the burglary.

“If you think you have seen any of the paintings which were stolen, please call us on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 11.”

Mr Le Corre can be contacted on 01225 868661.